Carrick eyes early Champions League progress

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Football News

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes early progress in the Champions League will help in the club's attempts to reclaim the Premier League title this season.

With a maximum return of six points from their opening two games against Galatasaray and CFR Cluj in Europe, the Red Devils go into Tuesday's clash with Braga at Old Trafford looking to cement their place at the top of Group H.

After exiting the competition at the group stage last year, Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to avoid a repeat, and earn a place in the last 16 at the earliest opportunity, with back-to-back victories over their Portuguese opponents.

And, Carrick feels that a dominant campaign in Europe's elite club competition can only benefit United domestically, as they look to close the four point gap between themselves and current leaders Chelsea.

"It does help the league form if you can get through early," the 31-year-old told Sky Sports. "The manager can change things around.

"He can rest players. He can use the squad and give players game time. The pressure is off. He can start planning ahead knowing the next stage is already secure.

"It is not always possible. Sometimes it can go down to the last game, which in itself is not always a bad thing. Overall though, it is better to get it done and dusted."

Next up for Manchester United in the Premier League, is a trip to Stamford Bridge, where Ferguson's charges take on Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea on Sunday 28 October, 16:00 KO.

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Premier League
Michael Carrick
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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